frenchtown fiber

Chris Mundy and Kate House try to make art while navigating the crap life throws at them.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Who the Hell is Amy Butler?

I spend a lot of time cruising different ETSY shops, mainly looking to see what other quilters and artists are up to. I've noticed a trend where people will include the name of fabric designers in the titles of their quilts. For example' "Patchwork Quilt with Moda Harvest Home fabric,"  or, "Rag Quilt made with Michael Miller Collection fabric." The number one fabric designer would appear to be Amy Butler. Every freakin' tote bag, change purse, burp cloth, apron and lap quilt is made from her fabric. I must admit, I started to find it annoying. I was ready to put this announcement in my own shop: "Absolutely no Amy Butler fabric used in my work!" I've never done it, though. I'm sure it is best to suppress my sarcastic side in my shop, so as not to annoy anyone. (Especially Amy Butler fans.)

There are a couple of things going on here I suppose. If you use the fabrics in a collection, you know they will harmonize and and you don't have to think or hunt for matching fabric. also, if your house is filled with Michael Miller fabric, maybe only a quilt made with more Michael Miller fabric will do.

Before I started to write this post, I decided to Google Amy B to find out more about her. The following is a quote from her website:

"I've never given a second thought to being an artist. It's really who I am and what I enjoy. I'm inspired by my surroundings, my friends, my family, nature and the rich textures of everyday life. I was never much for following trends.I like to remove myself from the cultural influences and design from a very intimate point of view. I collect vintage fabrics and use them in all of my work. I love the hunt, I love flea markets, and shops and traveling abroad to find inspiration."

When I read that, I realized that Amy and I have a lot in common. Well, except that she is rich, successful, has an amazing studio and a team of people to help her. Oh, and she travels abroad to find inspiration, (I travel to antique malls in Pennsylvania.) Maybe what I mean is, we have similar inspirations. And, I should mention that I really do like her fabric. I don't have any of it in my stash, though. I think the patterns and colors are so bold that you would almost have no choice but to use her fabrics exclusively. No thanks.

When I shop for fabric, there is no rhyme or reason to it. I just buy what I like. When you get enough of what you like, eventually there will be all kinds of things that go together. And then you will have developed a style that is all your own. Look at what Amy says in that quote. She says she has never been much for following trends. That is how she created a trend. 

Stay tuned. In my next post I will answer the question, "Who the hell is Kaffe Fassett?"


Anonymous said...

You took the words out of my mouth.

Quiltplay said...

true... but when i put 'amy butler' up on my etsy site i will get four times the views. personally i really do like her fabrics; they are bold and interesting. however all the designers end up putting far too many collections out in a short period of time and they start to get repetitive.

frenchtown said...

Well, there it is, straight from Quiltplay. Give the people what they want!
I realized that I have a lot of Alexander Henry Fabric. Is Alexander Henry an actual person?

Lainie said...

I love this post -- I like Amy Butler's fabrics but the "Amy Butler, rock star" phenomenon baffles me.

I think Alexander Henry is not a real person, but the company makes beautiful fabrics.

This is a terrific blog!